All photos: Nathan Jurgenson
Brandon Wetherbee hosts the talk show/podcast You, Me, Them, Everybody at the Wonderland Ballroom and in Baltimore, Brooklyn, Chicago and Philadelphia. Listen to it online at youmethemeverybody.com. He’ll be at the Hungry Brain on Friday, August 17 with guests Alison Cuddy from WBEZ, Red Eye’s Ernest Wilkins, stand up from Ever Mainard, music from Scott Lucas (Local H) and house band Al Scorch.
I’m no longer a starving artist. I’m a comfortably satiated guy that likes art. It’s better this way. Since I can afford some food and could care less about trying to like Wes Anderson (Got ‘em!), I’m able to enjoy things for what they are. I’m able to enjoy things like county fairs. I have a wonderful fiance and group of friends. I am also awesome at humble bragging. When my wonderful fiance suggested that we attend a county fair with a group of friends I said, “Yea, O.K., whatever you want,” because that’s what good guys say. So we went. We went to a country fair for non-ironic reasons. I had a medium to good time.
The 2012 Prince William County Fair in Manassas helped put things into perspective. A shitty, deep-fried, you’re not as fat as you think perspective. For that, I will forever be grateful. And godless. There’s no god at the Prince William County Fair.
In addition to my wonderful fiance and myself, my D.C. co-host/BYT contributor Jenn Tisdale and guy in my house band decided to drive an hour outside of the District to the fair. Oh, what a drive! We got lost! What a Beltway! Whatever. We got there.
“Do you remember where we parked?”
“How are we going to find the car?”
“We’ll look for the only Obama bumper sticker in the lot.”
“Hahahahahahahaha! What a quip! I’m sure that won’t be the case! I bet that the attendance of the Prince William County Fair is a diverse crowd of Democrats and Republicans.”
We ate food. Within 10 minutes the four of us ate overpriced slop. Before that we filled out forms to win a truck or boat or shed of sadness. I’m not sure. I don’t think we’ll win. All of us gave fake names and addresses and the official beeper number of You, Me, Them, Everybody, (420) 911-6969. We won’t be winners. So we ate. The food was eh.
Rides were next. We rode so many rides! All of the rides! They were scary! Not scary because you might die scary, but scary because if you sat in them long enough you’d turn back time and become 17 with two kids. SCARY! It’s been a week and to my knowledge, none of us are sad with kids. I may be wrong.
Games! We played games! Jenn won a stuffed thing! That stuffed thing may have given her a venereal disease. That’s O.K. because she’s a winner! She totally blew up a balloon by shooting water into a clown’s mouth! That part is true. She shot water from a gun into a clown’s mouth and won a prize. USA! USA! The Olympics don’t mean a thing when you can shoot water into a clown’s mouth.
More rides. More fried food. We had a bloomin’ onion and fried dough and fried Oreos. We are now all diabetic.
Then we left.
“Where’s the car?”
“It’s the only one with an Obama sticker.”
I was right. It was the only car with an Obama sticker.
Am I painting a hipsters picture of the Prince William County Fair? Probably. It’s the only picture I can paint. I ain’t Bob Ross and these clouds aren’t happy or little. They’re sad and gigantic. Sad, gigantic clouds that wear snarky t-shirts about how they’re the shit and FUCK YOU I ain’t got no fear. Also, Tapout. Lots of Tapout. So much Tapout. Why can’t Tapout make condoms? Awesome condoms that don’t perpetuate the cycle.
The attendees of the Prince William County Fair were very nice. When we offered to purchase a dreamcatcher with a Confederate flag emblazoned on it from a bingo winner, they said, no, but thank you. Wasn’t that nice!
So here’s the point. My show, my column, everything I do, isn’t for everyone. That’s O.K. Nothing is for everyone. I’m not going to be able to connect with everyone but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t try. Trying harder will lead me to making less jokes about people that aren’t in my bubble. Just not now. I like my bubble.
The fair was fun. Not ironic fun. I had a good time. The three people I surrounded myself with made the experience a great time. The fair was fun for other people too. Just because we like different music or political parties or ways to not birth kids all the time doesn’t mean that a ride that makes you want to vomit can’t cross cultural boundaries. The fair, for all its warts and flaws and non-union labor, is a good, all-American time. For a few hours on a weekend afternoon,
people that aren’t in my ‘world’ but screw up my world because they hate science and I had a blast.
Thanks for reading and have a wonderful night.